Tuesday, March 22, 2011

February and March: Good Riddance

They say that February is the shortest month, but you know they could be wrong.

Compared, calender page against calender page, it looks to be the shortest month, all right. Spread between January and March, like lard on bread, it fails to reach the crust on either side. In its galoshes - and you'll never catch February in stocking feet - it's a full head shorter than December, although in leap years, when it has growth spurts, it comes up to April's nose.

However more abbreviated than its cousins it may look, February feels longer than any of them. It is the meanest moon of winter, all the more cruel because it will masquerade as spring, occasionally for hours at a time, only to rip off its mask with a sadistic laugh and spit icicles into every gullible face, behavior that grows qickly old.

February is pitiless, and it is boring. That parade of red numerals on its page add up to zero: birthdays of politicians, a holiday reserved for rodents, what kind of celebrations are those? The only bubble in the flat champagne of February is Valentine's Day. It was no accident that our ancestors pinned Valentine's day on February's shirt: he or she lucky enough to have a lover in frgid, antsy February has cause for celebration, indeed.
-Tom Robbins
Jitterbug Perfume
Re-reading Jitterbug Perfume, one of my top 5 desert island books (along with 100 Years and Life of Pi), was possibly the best part of February.

It was a rough month, even with the weeklong holiday of Chinese New Year and the unseasonably beautiful weather. February also brought several days of the worst pollution i've witnessed in Beijing, possibly due to the unfathomable volume of fireworks incinerated in the Beijing skies. We watched the fireworks from Steph and Ken's Apartment on the 15th floor of our building, which was mostly not noteworthy.

Work was full-on stressful for the end of January and into February. I was tense. I had begun searching for a new place to live, which is a yearly event now. I think Landlords and young Chinese professionals think the same way: both believe by changing tenants/jobs frequently, they can increase rent/salary each time. The result for me is either pay more each year, or move into less awesome apartments.

For all of March, I had my sights set on this amazing hutong courtyard with Chris and another friend... 250sqm, 7 bedrooms, rooftop access, perfect location... but we just couldn't negotiate an agreement. I ended up signing a new lease on a place in dongzhimen, nearish to my current place. I'll post pictures of that soon. Sadly, I think i'm destined to go through this process every year.

Anyway, i'm optimistic that everything will work out and this year will be as exciting as the last. I'm ready for the new year now.


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